RMS Medina (1911)

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Painting by Kenneth King
Career (England) 70px
Name: SS Medina
Owner: Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
Port of registry: London
Route: London-Australia mail route
Builder: Caird & Company of Greenock, Scotland
Cost: £332,377
Yard number: 317
Launched: 14 March 1911
Completed: 10 October 1911 (commissioned)
Maiden voyage: 11 November 1911
Identification: Official No 131849
Fate: torpedoed off Start point, Devon on February 1, 1917 by the German submarine UB-31
General characteristics
Class and type: P&O's M-Class[1]
Tonnage: 12,358 tons
Length: 550 feet (170 m)
Beam: 62 feet (19 m)
Depth: 34 feet 4 inches (10.46 m)
Installed power: Coal fired, Steam quadruple-expansion engines producing 1,400 i.h.p
Propulsion: twin screw
Speed: 19 knots
Capacity: 450 first class passengers
220 second class passengers

RMS Medina was a ship built by Caird and Company, Greenock, Scotland, in 1911[1], for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. She was a Royal Mail Ship intended for use on the London to Australia route[1] and was the last of the ten ships in P&O's M-Class[1].

Design and Construction

The RMS Medina was the last of ten ships[2] ordered by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company of the ‘M’ class[2]. The order was placed with Caird and Company of Greenock, Scotland. She was 550 feet long and 62 feet wide with a depth of 34 feet. She would carry 670 passengers, 450 in first class and 220 in second[1]. She was powered by quadruple-expansion steam engines which produced 1,400 horse power two her twin screws which moved through the water at a top speed of 19 Knots[1]. During construction it was decided that Medina would carry King George V and Queen Mary to India for the Delhi Durbar. Medina was, therefore, initially commissioned into the Royal Navy as the Royal Yacht and her crew were mainly naval personnel. Medina was provided with an extra mast, necessary to maintain Royal flag etiquette and furnished with a white hull with bands of royal blue and gold and buff funnels. Various large rooms intended for public use were redecorated as Royal apartments.

Maiden Voyage

Medina left Portsmouth for India in November 1911, returning in February 1912 where she returned to Caird and Co. for refitting. She was then delivered to P&O in June 1912. She had only two years of peacetime service afterward but remained with P&O during World War I.


She was torpedoed off Start point, Devon on 1 February 1917 by the German submarine Template:SMU.

The wreck today: Medina is upright with a 15 degree list to port. She is reasonably intact despite salvage of copper and passengers' baggage from forward holds. Her stern is most damaged and she is sinking into the mud of the seabed. Her bulkheads are collapsing and her compartments are folding down.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Beneath the House Flag of the P&O, by Padfield Peter :Published by Hutchinson (1981) :ISBN 0 09 145760
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Story of P&O: By Howarth, David and Howarth, Peter:Published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson (1986): ISBN 0 297 78965 1

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